The SME connection
ACCORDING TO THE sixth and latest SME Survey conducted by World Wide Worx, ADSL has replaced dial-up completely as the Internet connection used by the 5 000 small businesses included in the poll. Telkom introduced ADSL five years ago and fewer than 10% of small, medium and micro enterprises now use dial-up.
Says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck: “In 2005, the SME Survey anticipated ADSL would steadily replace dial-up as the connec- tion of choice. However, the speed of acceptance has been surprising.”
ADSL is favoured by 63% – the same proportion using dial-up five years ago. Surprisingly, despite pricing on par with ADSL and steadily increasing coverage by MTN and Vodacom, 3G and HSDPA uptake among small businesses – as the primary connection, it must be added – is only 10,1%.
Compared to prices in developed and developing markets SA is still one of the most expensive in the world. Apart from a maximum speed of only 4Mbps available, the monthly cap (how much data traffic a user is entitled to per month) imposed on ADSL lines has long been a constraint for SA businesses. For example, in India and Brazil a 20Gb and 50Gb cap will cost roughly the same as a 3Gb service in SA at R675. In Europe uncapped lines with speeds of up to 20Mbps can be had for less than that.